Some Chinese words mix Roman letters and Chinese characters. For example:

  • AA制, meaning to split the bill evenly (or "go dutch" as that's often called in English).

  • N次方根, meaning "nth root" (i.e., including square roots, cube roots, etc. as special cases).

Are there other examples of Chinese words that mix scripts like this? Some guidance on answering this question:

  • I'm not particularly interested in words that include arabic numerals alongside Chinese characters. I'm assuming there are a lot of these (and also that they could be written in all Chinese characters if desired).

  • Slang and technical vocabulary are both fine. If a word has a dictionary entry, an encyclopedia (or subject-specific encyclopedia) page, or if you're pretty sure it has wide usage, I'm perfectly happy upvoting it.

  • I would be thrilled if anyone found examples that included something other than the Roman letters as used in English (i.e., A-Z). On the other hand, I doubt there are such cases.

  • 1
    Q has its own wiktionary entry!! – droooze May 14 at 0:51
  • How do you feel about Roman numerals being used to represent unrelated Chinese words in text/chat-speak, like “555” = 呜呜呜, equivalent to “*sobs*”; 烦4了 = 烦死了; “98” = 酒吧; etc.? Do they count? (Also, N次 is not just for roots – it’s also used to refer to any exaggeratedly large number of times, as in 我都已经跟你说了N次 “I’ve already told you a million times!”) – Janus Bahs Jacquet May 14 at 16:40
  • users have seen first name initial as Roman capital separated from last name represented by Chinese characters by a medium height dot, e.g. J·蔼理斯,John (约翰) Ellis (1874–1932, UK executioner) – user6065 May 14 at 22:15

There are lots of them, here's what I can recall:


X光片,X ray image


K线图,Candlestick chart

A型血,Blood Type A

P图(v.),Photoshop an image

维生素C,Vitamin C

O型腿,Blount's diseas

TCP协议,Transmission Control Protocol

RSS源,RSS feed

UI设计,User Interface design

All of the words are widely used, most of them combine the English letter and Chinese so the word is easier to understand. Basically everyone knows the 26 English letters, so only the words are translated to keep things simple.

  • P can also be used by itself for "Photoshop" & is apparently also slang for femme lesbians. – user3306356 May 14 at 4:37
  • One that I found most interesting was 阿Q, the character in 鲁迅‘s story 阿Q正传. Here is some discussion of its origin. – The_Anomaly May 14 at 13:33
  • I know this is true for some (tshirt), but are the letters said like they would be in English? (ex-光片, kay-线图) – Stephen Cowley May 14 at 21:28
  • 1
    @StephenCowley Yes, they do pronounced as English letters (since they are still English). – Amyas Marshall May 14 at 21:36
  • @StephenCowley here's an answer about how English letters are pronounced in Chinese chinese.stackexchange.com/a/2727/788 (answer: mostly the same, but adapted to the phonetics) – Stumpy Joe Pete May 14 at 23:12

I'm not totally sure if this is what you are looking for but apart from A-Z, there are examples like:


Where the pi symbol is used.

Alpha is also often used:

  • α其 (alpha phase)
  • α状态 (alpha state)
  • α物质 (alpha substance)
  • α实验 (alpha test)

Beta also:

  • β折叠 (beta pleated sheet)


  • γ环 (gamma loop)
  • γ纤维 (gamma fibers)
  • γ粒 (gamma granules)


  • φ现象 (phi phenomenon)

The percent sign:


might fit your criteria, even though it is usually grouped with numbers, as it is often read "pā" in Taiwan. E.g.: 五十%.

Obscenities and sensitive terms also have many combinations of letters with Chinese characters:


for: nudes.


for: idiots.

Straight up letters:


As in: po文. Which seems suspiciously like a shortening of the English word "post."

An English word


As in: word哥. Which people think sounds like 我的.


In Hong Kong, most imported terms are officially transliterated, there's no need to use any English alphabet in these terms.

For example:

store = 士多

toast = 多士

taxi = 的士

bus = 巴士

Also in Hong Kong, some English words are so commonly used, we just use them directly within Chinese sentences, there's no need to add any Chinese character to these terms

For example:

keep fit --> "平日唔 keep fit 嘅人" (the people who don't normally keep fit)

party --> "今晚來我屋企開 party" (come to my house for party tonight)

memo --> "出 memo 通知大家" (send memo to notify everyone)

There are some English+Chinese term I can think of

  • XO醬 (XO sauce)

  • PK戦 (Penalty shoot-out)

  • BB (baby- 嬰兒) Cantonese only

  • 'O記' (Organized Crime and Triad Bureau)

  • Hong Kong Chinese also use 'D' instead of '啲' (Mandarin 的) in casual setting (like web chat, gossip column or comic) because they sound exactly the same , Example: "嗰D人" = "嗰啲人" (Mandarin 那些人) = "those people"; "呢D嘢" = "呢啲嘢" (Mandarin 這些東西) = "these things"

PK戦 is imported from Japanese. The Chinese term for Penalty shoot-out is "互射十二碼" or "點球戰"

The official Chinese name for 'O記' or 'OCTB' is "Organized Crime and Triad Bureau" (有組織罪案及三合會調查科)

  • PK has also become synonymous with the English "vs." – user3306356 May 14 at 4:39
  • (I’m guessing you mean Bureau, not Burea for OCTB, yes?) – Janus Bahs Jacquet May 14 at 16:32
  • @user3306356 No. PK is used only when there is a competition or confrontation, while vs does not. – Victor May 15 at 17:50

I think X-线 might be right as well! Which is X-ray


I would be thrilled if anyone found examples that included something other than the Roman letters as used in English (i.e., A-Z). On the other hand, I doubt there are such cases.

The Japanese hiragana has found some use in Chinese. In most places where it appears, it is used in place of "的" (Mandarin) or "之" (Classical Chinese) to indicate possession.

See pictures (the article is in Japanese).

More information:

  • 3Q = Thank you
  • 881 = Bye-bye

Two Taiwan classics for y'all.

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